SALINAS, CA -- The sound of the auctioneer's gavel was music to the ears of
some aspiring college students at the Florida Strawberry Growers
Association's 28th annual Strawberry Jam awards banquet.
The event took place Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Red Rose Inn in Plant City, FL.
The evening was dedicated to honoring Florida's best strawberry growers and
presenting special scholarships to deserving students.
But one item that the Jam's agenda did not mention was a surprise live
auction to help fund the Rodney Hutto Memorial Scholarship. The single item
up for bid was a custom-made Musical Harvest, strawberry themed electric
guitar donated by Colorful Harvest, an association member and producer of
premium Florida strawberries. "Rodney Hutto was a friend to Colorful Harvest
and the Florida strawberry industry, and we wanted to do something special to
honor his memory," Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing
partner of Colorful Harvest, said in a Dec. 9 press release.
The guitar was made to order by Musical Harvest from fine hardwoods
including a deep red maple body, a green maple headstock and a variegated
green cocobolo kalic fingerboard. While a past scholarship recipient, Jerod
Parker, rocked the guitar on stage, attendees rocked the bidding. When the
auctioneer's gavel came down, the guitar auction had raised over $3,200 for
the scholarship fund.
"Colorful Harvest grows amazing strawberries near Belle Glade, Florida," Mr.
Ranno said in the release. The company’s Florida crop gives a big boost to its
year-round berry program, and it has substantially increased its Florida
acreage for 2011, according to the release.